I don't have time to write this morning, but I thought I'd refer anyone interested to some good scholarship on Mark Goodacre's blog about the hullabaloo James Tabor and others have been generating for some time about a supposed "lost tomb of Jesus" found in Israel.
Here's his summary of the situation.
Bad scholarship is when one refuses to let the evidence modify your hypothesis. Tabor and friends are, in my opinion, a good example of bad scholarship. However, they do not represent the vast majority of biblical scholars who are really interested primarily in truth and in following the evidence to its most logical conclusion.
Unfortunately, Tabor and others play easily into America's current problem with "expertophobia," the ironic instinct Americans seem to have that if someone is an expert on a subject, they should be viewed with suspicion because they're probably evil. For example, according to a recent comment in the public sphere, I am a snob for hoping more people can get a college education. This is actually as strong a sign of our decline as a nation as any other. The "greatest generation" didn't feel that way--not at all.
Most experts in a field are exactly that--experts, people who by definition are more likely to be right about that subject than you or me.